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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The italian game against the two knights defense (Read 11320 times)
Willempie
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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #29 - 04/17/07 at 18:39:45
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The analysis is somewhere in this forum (I think) and in a book which is prolly somewhere in a box (just moved), so sorry
What I do know is that in many variations it can be helpful to have the option of moving the bishop to e2.
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #28 - 04/17/07 at 16:36:51
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How can you think that Bc4 is better, but not put any proof?  Why is the move good, please put some analysis.  Thanks.
  
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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #27 - 04/17/07 at 15:51:04
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Markovich wrote on 04/17/07 at 15:09:43:
I consider the Traxler just plain bad after 5. Bxf7+ and then 6. Bb3 or 6. Bd5.  We've been over this, of course.  I would never play 5. Nxf7, particularly since I doubt that it wins.

I think 6.Bc4 may be even stronger. There must be some analysis on that here somewhere, though I cant find it.
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #26 - 04/17/07 at 15:09:43
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MNb wrote on 04/17/07 at 02:46:14:
See the link I gave above. Markovich thinks White's game easier to play after 8.Ne4 etcetera, though the resulting position might be equal.
Short and Beljavsky only play the Traxler at "fun" occasions like the Spartakiad - when Karpov choose the Italian instead of his normal Ruy Lopez.


Yeah, as I recall, the critical Fritz line (with 8...Ne6! -- Berliner's attack looks very doubtful to me) leads to an ending where White has two pawn islands and Black has three, including isolated a- and c-pawns.  To defend such an ending is not really why I play 1...e5, but perhaps Black is ultimately equal.  I wish a stronger player would give his opionion on this. Personally as White, I would play on and on, since there appears to be scant risk of White's losing. 

But this is why I think that 5...Na5 is the most correct.  However I think that 5...b5 is a great move for young and improving players to play, and I have my students playing it, premised mostly on their opponents' never knowing White's optimal course of action.  It's nice that MNb's 8...Ne6 analysis is there in case they do, since Black develops a beautiful game against White's merely intuitive replies. There is also the speculative 6. Bf1 h6!?  7. Nxf7! Kxf7  8. dxc6 Bc5  9. Be2! h5!? or 9...Ne4!? though objectively it seems that Black doesn't have enough in either case.

I consider the Traxler just plain bad after 5. Bxf7+ and then 6. Bb3 or 6. Bd5.  We've been over this, of course.  I would never play 5. Nxf7, particularly since I doubt that it wins.
« Last Edit: 04/17/07 at 19:55:48 by Markovich »  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #25 - 04/17/07 at 02:46:14
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See the link I gave above. Markovich thinks White's game easier to play after 8.Ne4 etcetera, though the resulting position might be equal.
Short and Beljavsky only play the Traxler at "fun" occasions like the Spartakiad - when Karpov choose the Italian instead of his normal Ruy Lopez.
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #24 - 04/17/07 at 01:22:55
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Okay I have been looking at this 4.Ng5 system quite a bit lately. 
Markovich, you seem to be backing this system quite a lot, what lines do you play against the traxler?  I have seen some pretty strong GM's play the it. GM's Short and Beliavsky.  Also does white obtain an advantage in the 8...Ne6 variation of the fritz?
  
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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #23 - 04/16/07 at 23:13:32
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Hello everyone, first post here! What a great forum.

That's an interesting opinion Markovich, and you may be right. d3 and d4 don't give much in the way of advantage but I'm not personally not sure that Ng5 brings an advantage either. I agree that it is the most testing move though.

I remember when I first started learning opening theory (I had no teacher or anything) and I played Ng5. It was great since a few players would blow up completely and play h6, or some would let me play the Fried Liver or Lolli. Also, my old material grubbing engine loved white and said the Fritz was pure losing! Eventually I stopped playing it after my opponents came prepared with Na5 or Nd4/b5 and I had to memorize reams of theory just to give the initiative over. White has to be ready for the Traxler too, and 5...Na5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.Qe2 Be7 and Bd6.

Back to the realm of objectivity. Which 8th move in the Fritz do you think is best for white?

8.cxd4 Qxg5 9.Bxb5+ Kd8 10.Qf3 exd4 11.Bc6 Nb4 as far as I knew this was good for black but it's possible I'm not up to date on a new development in this or 10.0-0.

8.Ne4 Ne6 9.Bxb5+ Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Qxd7 11.0-0 Be7 or f5 with equality IMO but I see the link given on this thread and there is a lot of good information there.

Or maybe even 8.h4 or 8.Nxf7 but I can't say that I've investigated these closely.

Well I guess that does it for now, I hope it's okay to post this since it's not italian game! And again, great to be here.
  
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MNb
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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #22 - 04/16/07 at 20:30:52
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To my shame I cannot reproduce the results  Embarrassed and I don't know anymore which position I used as a filter. To get good results though, you should not concentrate on one particular variation. Eg it is irrelevant if the white pawn is on h2 or h3.
At the other hand I could not find any Sokolov game (Piket, Karpov, yes).
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #21 - 04/16/07 at 09:07:34
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MNb wrote on 04/13/07 at 20:25:07:
Willempie wrote on 04/13/07 at 12:51:13:
Plus look at this one. I havent analyzed it yet, but the queen sac looks amazing (if correct). I think white fell off his chair after seeing move 14 Grin
[Event "Turin ol (Men) 37th"]
[Site "Turin"]
[Date "2006.05.21"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Vajda,Levente"]
[Black "Sutovsky,Emil"]
[Result "0-1"]


Nice game, but it does not really explain two points:
1) strong players seem to disagree with you.
2) White's results are far above average.

Maybe you should write an article for NIC on this subject? Might convince all those 2500+ guys, who have committed the sin you warn for.  Wink

To be honest I dont see those statistics you mention, but maybe I am looking at the wrong variation. Sokolov doesnt seem to have any particular fear for Bg5 for example as he quite often castles "too early" (according to your reasoning).
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #20 - 04/15/07 at 16:24:43
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Wow!  I cant believe I have gotten this out of touch with an opening I play.  It is probably because  I have switched to the modern defense, but I still play e5 once in a while.  I am glad you posted that MNb.  Now I need to do some more research.
  
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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #19 - 04/15/07 at 02:07:33
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megazord wrote on 04/14/07 at 14:45:34:
I have not looked at this thread in a couple of days and it seem that you guys have been busy.  Okay here is my 2 cents on 4.Ng5.  4.Ng5 leads to positions where black seems to be dictating the play.  I am of course speaking of only when black plays the most challenging line to 4.Ng5.  GM Hans Berliner showed how black should play agaisnt the 4.Ng5.  I would also like to point out that 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5  also leads to positions where black's lead in development make the game completely equal.  Many of you seem to think that 4.Ng5 is white's most challenging move, but with two systemts that give black a lead in development and allow him to equalize, I can hardly agree with you.  One warning about the berliner variation though, it is not played all that much on the GM level because in many of the lines black's best is to sacrifice material and many GM's probably feel that it is unecessary to play so aggressive when they could also get a good game from the 5...Na5 lines.  As you can probably tell I prefer the complexity of the berliner variation.  I thnk the berliner is also known as the olav ovalstadt variation.


Words, words, words.  I agree that Black can, with some difficulty, hold his own after 4. Ng5!  I don't agree that it's a piece of cake.  Black doesn't have two systems, of which I am aware, but only 5...Na5 is adequate.  Black is fighting for the half point, White for the whole point (especially, MnB, in that Fritz line of yours).  So White is White after 4. Ng5, and I suspect his chances are no worse, and perhaps a little better than in the initial position.  I know, more words, but thats my point of view.


  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #18 - 04/14/07 at 20:10:25
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A few remarks: 5...Nd4 is not the Berliner Variation. It is invented by Alexander Fritz, a long time before Berliner showed up. These days the move order 5...b5 (Ulvestadt to be correct) 6.Bf1 Nd4 is considered more precise.
Neither is the piece sac 8...Qh4 invented by Berliner, though he did some interesting analysis on it and 9...Bg4 might be his move. These days 8...Qh4? is considered to be refuted. Instead 8...Ne6 might lead to equality, though Markovich still sees some chances for White.

See http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1122121981/0#0

Take a look here as well:

http://www.chesscafe.com/archives/archives.htm#The%20Kibitzer

eg november 2005, but there are several others on this subject.
The author is a strong corr (OTB he is no weakling either) player and has put all this Italian stuff in practice for some 20 years or so.
« Last Edit: 04/15/07 at 15:02:14 by MNb »  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #17 - 04/14/07 at 15:07:12
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Here is a game I played in Dusseldorf 3 years ago, I was black the moves are as follow:


Hagen(1983) - Megazord(2204)
1.  e4         e5      
  2.  Nf3        Nc6      
  3.  Bc4        Nf6      
  4.  Ng5       d5      
  5.  exd5      Nd4      
  6.  c3         b5       
  7.  Bf1        Nxd5      
  8.  Ne4      Qh4       
  9.  Ng3      Bg4      
10.  f3        e4      
11.  cxd4     Bd6      
12.  Bxb5+  Kd8      
13.  O-O      exf3    
14.  Rxf3     Rb8      
15.  Be2      Bxf3    
16.  Bxf3     Nb4       
17.  d3        Re8      
18.  Nc3      Qxd4+   
19.  Kh1      Nxd3    
20.  Nce4     Bxg3      
21.  Bg5+    f6       
22.  hxg3    Rxe4      
      White resigns 0-1

This is a pretty typical game from this variation.  Now opponent made some pretty obvious tactical erros but the time control was G/25, which is a pretty fast time control.
  
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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #16 - 04/14/07 at 14:45:34
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I have not looked at this thread in a couple of days and it seem that you guys have been busy.  Okay here is my 2 cents on 4.Ng5.  4.Ng5 leads to positions where black seems to be dictating the play.  I am of course speaking of only when black plays the most challenging line to 4.Ng5.  GM Hans Berliner showed how black should play agaisnt the 4.Ng5.  I would also like to point out that 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5  also leads to positions where black's lead in development make the game completely equal.  Many of you seem to think that 4.Ng5 is white's most challenging move, but with two systemts that give black a lead in development and allow him to equalize, I can hardly agree with you.  One warning about the berliner variation though, it is not played all that much on the GM level because in many of the lines black's best is to sacrifice material and many GM's probably feel that it is unecessary to play so aggressive when they could also get a good game from the 5...Na5 lines.  As you can probably tell I prefer the complexity of the berliner variation.  I thnk the berliner is also known as the olav ovalstadt variation.

[Event "corr-5"]
[Site "corr-5"]
[Date "1965.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Y Estrin"]
[Black "H Berliner"]
[ECO "C57"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "84"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 b5 6.Bf1 Nd4 7.c3 Nxd5 8.Ne4
Qh4 9.Ng3 Bg4 10.f3 e4 11.cxd4 Bd6 12.Bxb5+ Kd8 13.O-O exf3 14.Rxf3 Rb8
15.Be2 Bxf3 16.Bxf3 Qxd4+ 17.Kh1 Bxg3 18.hxg3 Rb6 19.d3 Ne3 20.Bxe3 Qxe3
21.Bg4 h5 22.Bh3 g5 23.Nd2 g4 24.Nc4 Qxg3 25.Nxb6 gxh3 26.Qf3 hxg2+
27.Qxg2 Qxg2+ 28.Kxg2 cxb6 29.Rf1 Ke7 30.Re1+ Kd6 31.Rf1 Rc8 32.Rxf7 Rc7
33.Rf2 Ke5 34.a4 Kd4 35.a5 Kxd3 36.Rf3+ Kc2 37.b4 b5 38.a6 Rc4 39.Rf7
Rxb4 40.Rb7 Rg4+ 41.Kf3 b4 42.Rxa7 b3 0-1

  
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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #15 - 04/13/07 at 20:25:07
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Willempie wrote on 04/13/07 at 12:51:13:
Plus look at this one. I havent analyzed it yet, but the queen sac looks amazing (if correct). I think white fell off his chair after seeing move 14 Grin
[Event "Turin ol (Men) 37th"]
[Site "Turin"]
[Date "2006.05.21"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Vajda,Levente"]
[Black "Sutovsky,Emil"]
[Result "0-1"]


Nice game, but it does not really explain two points:
1) strong players seem to disagree with you.
2) White's results are far above average.

Maybe you should write an article for NIC on this subject? Might convince all those 2500+ guys, who have committed the sin you warn for.  Wink
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #14 - 04/13/07 at 12:51:13
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MNb wrote on 04/12/07 at 15:09:28:
Like Rausch-Buturin, Mlada Boleslav 1992, you mean?
Or maybe Hendriks-Winants, NEDchT 1994, where White spoiled a very good position?
There are also some draws, where White's play can be improved without much effort.
According to my database White scores over 60% in this type of position (I found about 90 games), with x...h6 7.Bh4 that is. Amongst people, who have played Bg5 lately, are Tiviakov and Spassov.
So, without insult intended, I do not trust you at all. The reason of course, is that ...g5 after castling seriously affects the safey of His Black Majesty.
Of course you are right, that with the knight on c3 White's play would be even stronger - I would say, that White is close to a forced win in that case. No, I strongly advise - and in corr chess my opponents have done so - to castle after White has played Nbd2. If not, follow my recipe above.

More like Hendriks-Nieuwelink 1996
Plus look at this one. I havent analyzed it yet, but the queen sac looks amazing (if correct). I think white fell off his chair after seeing move 14 Grin
[Event "Turin ol (Men) 37th"]
[Site "Turin"]
[Date "2006.05.21"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Vajda,Levente"]
[Black "Sutovsky,Emil"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Eco "C54"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 g5
9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Kg7 11.Qf3 Be6 12.Nd2 Rh8 13.h4 Qe7 14.Bd5 Nxd5 15.Bxe7 Ndxe7 16.b4 Bb6
17.b5 Na5 18.g3 Rag8 19.d4 Kf8 20.Kg2 Ng6 21.Rh1 Nxh4+ 22.Rxh4 Rxh4 23.Qf6 Bh3+ 24.Kf3 Rh5
25.Ke3 Rg6 26.Qd8+ Kg7 27.Rh1 c5 28.Qe7 cxd4+ 29.Kd3 dxc3 30.Nf3 Bxf2 31.Kc2 Bxg3 32.Kxc3 Bf2
33.Kb4 b6 34.Ka4 Rg3 35.Nd2 Bc5 36.Nb3 Nc4 37.Rh2 Bg2 38.Nxc5 Nb2+ 0-1
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #13 - 04/12/07 at 15:09:28
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Like Rausch-Buturin, Mlada Boleslav 1992, you mean?
Or maybe Hendriks-Winants, NEDchT 1994, where White spoiled a very good position?
There are also some draws, where White's play can be improved without much effort.
According to my database White scores over 60% in this type of position (I found about 90 games), with x...h6 7.Bh4 that is. Amongst people, who have played Bg5 lately, are Tiviakov and Spassov.
So, without insult intended, I do not trust you at all. The reason of course, is that ...g5 after castling seriously affects the safey of His Black Majesty.
Of course you are right, that with the knight on c3 White's play would be even stronger - I would say, that White is close to a forced win in that case. No, I strongly advise - and in corr chess my opponents have done so - to castle after White has played Nbd2. If not, follow my recipe above.
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #12 - 04/12/07 at 08:12:04
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MNb wrote on 04/12/07 at 07:43:37:
Well, I am pretty sure, 6...a6 is not the best move in this game.  Wink

You got my point in any case Wink
Quote:
You are right, that this line also can arise via the Evans: 4.b4 Bb6 5.a4 a6 (but Black has a5 6.b5 Nd4) 6.c3 Nf6 7.d3. Results have generally not been that encouraging for White.

Well it isnt that bad either. But my point mainly was to show that the a4-b4 plan is definately an option iso standard ruy play.
Quote:
I don't agree with that remark on Bg5. It is simple: if Black has castled, Bg5 is quite strong. If not, Black will answer with ...h6 and evt. g5, grabbing the initiative on the king's wing. So Black must delay castling (d6, Ba7) until White has played Nbd2. Eventually Black can play ...Bg4.
If White tries to be clever, like 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 a6 6.Bb3 d6 7.h3 (7.0-0 Ba7 evt. 8...Bg4) Ba7 8.0-0, then h6 plan Qe7 and g5 is attractive. So White cannot avoid the early Nbd2 without making a concession.

Trust me on this one Huh With some exceptions after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 the move Bg5 by white is usually not the best (I wouldnt call it a bad move, just a bad idea). The thing is that after h6 (with or without black castling), you would either have to
-retreat after which h6 is definately not a weakening
-exchange after which you lose the bishop pair and free black's play (or open a g-file on your own king)
-play Bh4 after which g5 is always in the air (which allows some nasty options such as h5-h4, Nh5-f4 or f5). Even when black has castled and white hasnt, this can be very dangerous.

The problem is that the knight isnt on c3 (the worst piece in the d3 italian imo) allowing a jump to d5.
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #11 - 04/12/07 at 07:43:37
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Well, I am pretty sure, 6...a6 is not the best move in this game.  Wink
You are right, that this line also can arise via the Evans: 4.b4 Bb6 5.a4 a6 (but Black has a5 6.b5 Nd4) 6.c3 Nf6 7.d3. Results have generally not been that encouraging for White.

I don't agree with that remark on Bg5. It is simple: if Black has castled, Bg5 is quite strong. If not, Black will answer with ...h6 and evt. g5, grabbing the initiative on the king's wing. So Black must delay castling (d6, Ba7) until White has played Nbd2. Eventually Black can play ...Bg4.
If White tries to be clever, like 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 a6 6.Bb3 d6 7.h3 (7.0-0 Ba7 evt. 8...Bg4) Ba7 8.0-0, then h6 plan Qe7 and g5 is attractive. So White cannot avoid the early Nbd2 without making a concession.
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #10 - 04/12/07 at 06:32:56
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Whatever the merits of 4.Ng5, the question was about 4.d3 Wink

It is possible to play it as a sort of declined Evans, espcially when black doesnt play a6. I think the game below transposes to the Evans declined with Bb6. Note that black's 6th isnt the best according to theory (6...a6), though to me that has always sounded weird. If black plays 6..a6 you have the Ruy plan as best course of action. One important thing to note is that Bg5 is almost never a good idea in these c3-d3 lines.
[Date "1986.10.??"]
[White "Dolmatov,Sergey"]
[Black "Goldin,Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "C54"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.b4 Bb6 7.a4 a5 8.b5 Ne7
9.0-0 Ng6 10.Nbd2 0-0 11.Bb3 c6 12.Ba3 Re8 13.Nc4 Bc7 14.Ne3 d5 15.Qc2 h6 16.Rfe1 Be6 17.Rad1 Qd7 18.Nd2 Bd6 19.Bc1 Bf8 20.exd5 cxd5 21.d4 exd4 22.cxd4 Rac8 23.Qa2 Bb4 24.Ba3 Qd6 25.Bxb4 Qxb4 26.Nc2 Qd6 27.g3 h5 28.Rc1 Rc3 29.Ne3 Rec8 30.Rxc3 Rxc3 31.Nb1 Rc8 32.Rd1 h4 33.Qd2 hxg3 34.hxg3 Ne4 35.Qe1 Ne7 36.Bc2 b6 37.Nd2 Nc3 38.Ra1 Qb4 39.Nf3 Qb2 40.Kg2 Rc7 41.Qh1 Ne4 42.Bxe4 dxe4 43.Ng5 Nd5 44.Qh7+ Kf8 45.Nxe6+ fxe6 46.Nxd5 exd5 47.Qh8+ Kf7 48.Qd8 Qxa1 49.Qxc7+ Kg8 50.Qd8+ Kh7 51.Qxd5 Qe1 52.Qh5+ Kg8 53.d5 Qb4 54.Qe5 Qxa4 1-0
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #9 - 04/12/07 at 02:01:36
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I would point out that whenever I have risked the Two knights, it's been a very rare day to actually face 4 Ng5 !  Almost 90 % of the time you get 4 d3 .


That only reflects that most higher-level players these days play the Italian, it's for the purpose of producing one of these unambitious, half-Spanish positions.  If you read the original post, it's clear he's a maximalist, looking for sharp, strong lines and ambitious to win out of the box.  There is no doubt, I opine, that 4. Ng5 is his best move.

I further maintain that 4. Ng5 is the best move for anyone who takes the time to prepare it.

MnB, I respectfully doubt that a strong White is in much danger of losing in the main lines of the Two Knights.  Like the Marshall, this is a defense theoretically adequate for a draw.  I don't think many positions come up where Black has legitimate winning chances against good opposition.  Or perhaps you'd care to point to some.

OK, I recognize that in a practical setting, and especially among us middling players, Black can easily win.  That's why I play it.  But I think that at a high level, it's merely adequate for a draw.  There are those, indeed, who claim += (I don't).  My opinion.

  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #8 - 04/11/07 at 21:22:37
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Well, the evaluation of 4.Ng5 is open to discussion like almost all opening variations. But I still have to find the first book, that claims a White opening advantage after 4.Ng5. That is why I object calling this move "objectively" best.

"equal, but the burden of proof is on Black" is about the most subjective evaluation of a position I can think of. It is equally easy to state, that White suffers from the burden of proving, that he can survive the pressure for the rest of the game. From my own experience and from discussions with other gambiteers (one of them being Jozef Boey, a long time ago) I can assure you, that gambiteers do not think like "o my, how heavy is the burden of proving full compensation".
With Andrew Brett I am under the impression, that strong players (say ELO 2400+) seem to prefer 4.d3 and 5.c3. Not that every amateur should follow that example. My only point is, that Markovich and Woofwoof only show their own preferences and nothing more.

Back to the topic. I think, we can safely say, that 4.Ng5 combines better with the Evans than 4.d3. The reason is, like Willempie has pointed out, the transposition 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3. Playing that strongly invites 3...Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3, hence no Evans. So objectively speaking for the Evans adherent it makes more sense to chose 4.Ng5, like Tsjigorin already knew.
Though I have tried to prove the opposite, 4.d4 and 4.0-0 (hoping for Bc5 5.b4) must be regarded inferior to both 4.Ng5 and 4.d3.
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #7 - 04/11/07 at 11:32:12
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If 4.Ng5 is actually objectively the strongest move, I find it strange that on top level, 4.d3 is almost always played. True, it is still open to discussion whether Black has enough compensation for the pawn. But in addition to the lines Markovich mentions, Black has the interesting sidelines 6...Bd7!? and 10...Bc5!?
  
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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #6 - 04/11/07 at 07:54:25
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4.Ng5 is a duffer's move Grin
4.d3 can be played in basically to ways: with Nc3 or with c3. The former is the Canal variation, but is harmless of black pays a little attention (Capa almost got caught at unawares once). The second is much better and can give rise to similar play to the closed ruy (trying to set up e4 and d4). However white has the bonus that unlike in the ruy he can expand on the queenside with a4 and b4, which is similar to the Evans declined.

This is a recent game with the pure ruy idea (note that white doesnt get to play d4 quick, but still is slightly better). Though to be fair a player like Paco should have known better than to go for the manoeuvres with the knight and queen on the k-side (if it hadnt been blindfold I would have called this an amateur plan):
[Event "Amber-blind 16th"]
[Site "Monte Carlo"]
[Date "2007.03.17"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Gelfand,Boris"]
[Black "Vallejo Pons,Francisco"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "C54"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 a6 6.Bb3 Ba7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Re1 d6
9.h3 h6 10.Nbd2 Nh5 11.Nf1 Qf6 12.Be3 Nf4 13.Ng3 Be6 14.Bxf4 exf4 15.Nh5 Qe7 16.Nxf4 Qf6 17.Nd5 Bxd5 18.Bxd5 Ne7 19.Bb3 Ng6 20.d4 c5 21.e5 dxe5 22.dxe5 Qb6 23.Qd6 Qxd6 24.exd6 b5 25.Rad1 Rfd8 26.Bc2 Nf4 27.Ne5 g6 28.Nc6 Rd7 29.Re7 Rxd6 30.Rxd6  1-0

  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #5 - 04/11/07 at 07:36:04
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I would point out that whenever I have risked the Two knights, it's been a very rare day to actually face 4 Ng5 !  Almost 90 % of the time you get 4 d3 .
  
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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #4 - 04/11/07 at 03:35:43
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I do think that 4.Ng5 is probably the best move for white if he wants to take the initiative, which he should really, given that he has the 1st move advantage. So make it count, i say. I personally dont see how any other 4th move alternative gives white a better fight and more aggression. 4.d3 is too tame for my liking.

I myself play 4.Ng5 against the 2 Kts.
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #3 - 04/11/07 at 00:05:30
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MNb wrote on 04/10/07 at 20:22:12:
Markovich wrote on 04/10/07 at 17:33:26:
The strongest move objectively is 4. Ng5,
with an interesting game of chess for both sides.


As one might say the same of 4.d3, I don't get why 4.Ng5 should be better. Or is it a matter of taste? Does not sound "objectively".  Wink


Well, I think it's a whole lot more ambitious, and probably better objectively, to win the pawn.  The position that I said was interesting is, I opine, interesting, but the burden of proof is on Black, don't you agree?  You and I might agree that Black is up to the test, but I don't think many people would disagree that 4. Ng5 is by far the most testing.
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #2 - 04/10/07 at 20:22:12
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Markovich wrote on 04/10/07 at 17:33:26:
The strongest move objectively is 4. Ng5,
with an interesting game of chess for both sides.


As one might say the same of 4.d3, I don't get why 4.Ng5 should be better. Or is it a matter of taste? Does not sound "objectively".  Wink
  

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Re: The italian game against the two knights defen
Reply #1 - 04/10/07 at 17:33:26
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megazord wrote on 04/09/07 at 18:01:06:
I play the evans gambit against the move order 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5, however when black plays the two knights I am at a loss.  I use to play e5 and the two knights defense against the italian game, so I know how to defend against all the popular gambits, fried liver attack, scotch gambit, goring gambit, danish gambit and all that other jazz.   Can anyone tell me how to play the italian game against the two knights 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3.  IF you could tell me the key ideas and move orders that are importants thanks in advance.


The strongest move objectively is 4. Ng5, when there really is no way to talk about key moves and move orders; it's all specifics. 

I suppose one thing worth saying is that 4. Ng5 d5  5. exd5 Nxd5?! and now 6. d4! is correct.  Also if 4. Ng5 Bc5 now 5. Bxf7+ is correct.  Oh, and if 4. Ng5 Nxe4 also 5. Bxf7+.  If 4. Ng5 d5  5. exd5 b5, then the surprising 6. Bf1! is correct.  4. Ng5 d5  5. exd5 Na5  6. Bb5+ is correct, not the antique 6. d3?!.  6. Bb5+ c6  7. dxc6 bxc6 and now 8. Qf3 is considered challenging, but it's not so easy to play.  Simply 8. Be2 leaves White with play for the win, though many believe that Black has enough compensation.  8. Be2 h6 and now 9. Nf3 is best, not Fischer's 9. Nh3, I opine. 

8. Be2 h6  9. Nf3 e5  10. Ne5 Bd6  11. f4 (11. d4 exd3  12. Nxd3 0-0 is also interesting) 11...exf3  12. Nxf3 is an interesting game of chess for both sides.  One middlegame theme for White is to sac the exchange on f6, usually after Nh4.  Any thought of that is way down the road, of course, but I thought I'd mention it.
  

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The italian game against the two knights defense
04/09/07 at 18:01:06
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I play the evans gambit against the move order 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5, however when black plays the two knights I am at a loss.  I use to play e5 and the two knights defense against the italian game, so I know how to defend against all the popular gambits, fried liver attack, scotch gambit, goring gambit, danish gambit and all that other jazz.   Can anyone tell me how to play the italian game against the two knights 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3.  IF you could tell me the key ideas and move orders that are importants thanks in advance.
  
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